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Old 13th July 2009, 04:22 PM   #1
diypole is offline diypole  United States
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Default Recommendations on pc audio interface for loudspeaker measurement

I'm looking to purchase a new PC audio interface for loudspeaker measurement.

I'm using soundeasy as my measurement software.

I would like to be able to emulate a 3 way crossover with it.

I appreciate all recommendations, and if there are products I should steer clear of I appreciate that feedback also.

regards, Jason
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Old 13th July 2009, 08:25 PM   #2
ChrisA is offline ChrisA  United States
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Default Re: Recommendations on pc audio interface for loudspeaker measurement

Quote:
Originally posted by diypole
I'm looking to purchase a new PC audio interface for loudspeaker measurement.

I'm using soundeasy as my measurement software.

I would like to be able to emulate a 3 way crossover with it.

I appreciate all recommendations, and if there are products I should steer clear of I appreciate that feedback also.

regards, Jason
How low do you need to go? is 20Hz low enough? If so then any of the boxes made for music recording would work

I'd think what's needed is an interface with a good low noise preamp and some range in the gain adjustment, phantom power (for the mic), and of course a 24 bit ACD and 96K sample rate. EMU is not bad. their USB connected "0202" would work.

More important then the interface would be selecting a good mic. Measurement mics are not cheap. I wonder what the difference is between these two?
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/M30/
http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHECM8000

THese mics measure down to single digit Hz. Well below the low cut off of most audio interfaces.
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Old 13th July 2009, 08:44 PM   #3
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Hey Chris,
There's been a lot of comparisons between the M30 and the Behringer mics.
The M30 is the preffered mic amongst the Measurement fraternity,
it's very stable and gives good repeatable results out to 30kHz
The Behringer mics seem to have gone through several versions, I'm not sure just how consistent they are but they seem to be good up to about 8kHz where they start to show variations in the phase response.
This doesn't really matter if your only using single mic systems and are making relative measurements.
You can get them calibrated - Keith Giardin(sp?)

Interfaces - you don't say if you want Firewire or USB, also I don't know if SoundEasy uses WDM or Asio drivers. (CoreAudio for Mac)
I don't use SoundEasy but I'm familiar with these devices.
You could look at -
M-audio, Fast track ultra, FW410
Sound Devices USBPre
PreSonus, Firebox, Firestudio Project (8ch)

hope this helps,
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Old 13th July 2009, 09:56 PM   #4
Theo404 is offline Theo404  United Kingdom
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May I refer you to these posts:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...48#post1878448

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...65#post1878465

It seems that sound card choice is the least important part of the measurement chain. Having now tried the onboard sound on a simple P35 based motherboard I agree (I was not a believer before, but results are virtually identical to those acquired with my more expensive kit). Buying 'prosumer' cards/usb devices, such as M-audio etc, is a complete waste of money if your only intention is to use them for measurements. You would acquire data just as accurate from MUCH cheaper cards. If you intend to use them as a source in future things change... but thats a different subject all together.

Mic wise, it seems to me that buying something like a 'behringer' 'brandname' mic (anything sub say $500) all you are paying for is a nice wand and cable... it will be the same (to all intensive purposes) electret insert as anything else. So I would suggest getting some panasonic wm-61a inserts and doing a little soldering. They are widely regarded as being rather accurate and are the only mic I have seem calibration files for all the software I have come in contact with.

Speaking of software, there is a new piece of freeware from the good people at holm acoustics (namely 'askbojesen') called holmimpulse, which is begining to surpass even good commercial offerings, through enduser development and insanely fast response to requests through updates.... you may want to give it a try....

You said something about wanting to emulate a 3 way crossover? You mean active yes? Three outputs - three amps...? This can be done easily with any 'kx driver' compatible creative soundcard (google it) for measurement purposes...
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Old 13th July 2009, 11:14 PM   #5
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Hey Theo,
As you say the soundcard doesn't matter, but most people with laptops for portable measurement systems need stereo line inputs which are sadly missing on most these days. Add some sort of mic pre and you might as well get an interface.

cheers
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Old 14th July 2009, 12:36 PM   #6
diypole is offline diypole  United States
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Thankyou for the responses.

To be more specific;

I have the Behringer mic, and had been building speakers up until about 4 years ago...divorce, move etc.

The external soundcard I was using, an edirol UA5, has apparently died in it's sleep...still trying to understand that one.

With soundeasy, I can digitally emulate the crossover before building it, so I was looking for at least 6 output.

This is all under windows XP.

Based upon what I've read from other users, I've discounted the M-Audio products. It would be nice if someone who's had experience with the M-Audio ProFire 610 can offer me some confidence that they've had no problems with this product.

It seems RME and Echo have some good products in the right range.

If I go with a PCI product, such as layla or Gina from echo, I'm all set, but cannot use them with my laptop also.

It would be preferable to have a firewire based product that I can use with either my desktop or PC, but then it *seems* I'm limited to 4 outputs unless I jump to a far more expensive product, ie. Hammerfall with a pcmia interface. If the Echo AudioFire4 had 6 analog outputs it would be my first choice right now.


So, for me right now, it seems my preference is for a firewire based product in the sub $1000 category.

Echo audiofire4 and give up the 2 outputs?

Or M-Audio profire610 and worry I'll be driven insane with issues?

Are there things I'm not considering here? I've been out of the loop a while.

Once again, all comments appreciated.
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Old 14th July 2009, 09:27 PM   #7
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You will probably get better responses on the Yahoo SoundEasy user list. there have been lots of discussions on external soundcards. I have not seen that many posts by people using multichannel usb or firewire cards for XO emulation. Most of the big users of the XO emulator, myself included, are doing it with a desktop and a card such as the old M-Audio Delta 410. There have been enough problems with external cards not working right that I would reccomend that if you do go that route, you choose a card that others are already using and having good luck with.

if you do want to go with a firewire external card, there are a number of M-Audio Firewire 410 cards on EBAY or other sources.

Good luck and regards,

Dennis
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Old 14th July 2009, 09:50 PM   #8
ChrisA is offline ChrisA  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by diypole


It would be preferable to have a firewire based product that I can use with either my desktop or PC, but then it *seems* I'm limited to 4 outputs unless I jump to a far more expensive product, ie. Hammerfall with a pcmia interface.
There are any number of firewire interface with more than four outputs. Prices start at about $300 or so. I picked a few below at random but did select only top name brands

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SaffirePro40/
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/8pre/
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/828mk3/

But you can buy a stereo crossover for not a lot
of money

This sell for about $160
http://www.peavey.com/products/brows...item/115810/PV(R)%2035XO.cfm
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Old 14th July 2009, 11:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by diypole
The external soundcard I was using, an edirol UA5
After being quite pleased with the Edirol UA-25 i picked up dirt cheap at swap-n-shop, i have an FA-66 on its way as i speak (this will give me measure capability to 30KHz +). There is an FA-100 (??) with a lot more I/O

dave
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Old 15th July 2009, 12:45 PM   #10
diypole is offline diypole  United States
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I want to thank everyone for their feedback.

djarchow; I have also concurrently posted in the user's list, and have rephrased my question there. In the hopes that someone may see it, I'm going to do it here also.

Things are becoming clearer, and I think what I should be asking is this;

Is there any external audio interface that has been consistently and successfully used to emulate digital filters with soundeasy by anyone?

Firewire or usb, it doesn't matter.

regards, Jason
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